Many people start a new year with a fresh outlook, setting new goals and aspirations for the upcoming twelve months.
Keeping fit or travelling abroad are common resolutions though it is usually the state of your finances at the forefront of everybody’s thoughts.
Moving to a better paid job is perhaps the most obvious way to increase your income although in a tough employment climate, this is often not a viable option.
Instead, it becomes preferable to save money as efficiently as possible, avoiding overspending on certain products or services on a regular basis.
Here are 14 money saving tips that can help you achieve this in 2014.
1 – Consider the Mortgage
For the majority of homeowners in the UK, the mortgage is the largest outlay to consider when thinking of their finances.
In the long-run one of the best ways to save money on your mortgage is to overpay if you can afford to.
Right now interest rates are rock bottom, but could potentially rise in the future.
2 – Cut Down Fuel Bills
One of your main expenditures throughout the year will be on your main household bills – gas, electricity and water.
With utility companies seemingly putting prices up all the time, a large chunk of your income can be tied up paying these costs instantly.
There are many companies out there however so savings are sure to be out there by browsing around or looking on comparison websites.
3 – Become Energy Efficient
An astute way of cutting down your bills is to ensure your house stays as energy efficient as possible.
This can mean simply mean turning down the boiler or switching off lights when not in use.
It can also apply to how your home deals with the elements.
For example, improving your loft insulation or air sealing windows can cut down heating bills in the future.
4 – Review Insurance Policies
We can often overlook the effect of our various insurance policies on our finances.
Breakdown cover along with life, car, travel and health insurance can all possibly be reduced if you scour all the possible alternatives online and on the high street.
Consider if some policies are even needed in the first place also.
5 – Food Shopping
With a little planning and self-motivation, the weekly food shop is certainly something that can be reduced.
Make a list of the basic products you definitely need and stick to it when walking the aisles.
It can be tempting to give in to seemingly good supermarket offers but they can often ensure your shopping bill is higher than it needs to be.
6 – Buy Efficient Foods
Staying with food, the type of goods you purchase can also have a positive effect on your expenditure.
The more luxury products with fancy packaging are not necessarily worth buying on every shop.
Also think which foodstuffs last for long periods so you don’t waste money chucking them out.
Pasta, tuna and rice are all smart options along with freezable goods.
7 – Mobile Phones
In an age where mobile phones are a necessity, it can be alluring to go after the top range handsets, often with hefty contracts attached to them.
If you can bring yourself to change your attitude towards your phone, hundreds of pounds can be saved each year.
Consider a more basic handset with a cheaper pay-as-you-go tariff.
8 – Utilise Social Media Sites
In terms of contacting friends and family, you can cut your phone bills by simply sending messages over Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp.
As everyone seems to have at least one of these services in the modern era, this can be a cost-efficient way of staying in touch.
9 – Ditch the Designer Labels
Of course we all want to look as good as possible but there is no need to always spend big when trawling round the local high street or shopping centre.
This is because there are numerous copycat stores and online outlets that stock clothing items just as impressive as the top brands.
Think if paying £500 for a handbag or designer jacket will really enhance your life.
10 – Shop Online
Although you can find some good deals in second-hand shops or during clearance sales, it is on the internet where the biggest savings can usually be made.
Websites such as eBay and Amazon are brilliant for unearthing cheap goods, whilst comparison sites will also present the lowest option for certain services in a clear fashion.
11 – Cheaper Holidays
A sun-soaked destination a million miles from home with beautiful beaches and crystal clear sea waters is the dream holiday of most people.
These will unfortunately cost a significant amount however, especially for the whole family.
Look into destinations closer to home or even in the UK as a cheaper alternative.
12 – Look out for Freebies
There is nothing wrong with scouting round for free samples and giveaways online.
Many companies trial their products on customers by simply offering them for no money, providing you sign up to their mailing list.
Another smart ploy is to utilise ‘swap it’ sites; these are where you simply swap your unwanted goods for others which may be of more use.
13 – Pay off Debts
Clearing existing debts can be very beneficial to your overall finances, especially when it comes to urgent payments.
Some unpaid arrears can have detrimental effects, often to do with mortgage, rent and council tax debts.
Credit cards too can be damaging with APR payments racking up large interest bills.
Seek financial advice on how to consolidate your owed payments to make things easier.
14 – Stay Focussed
In a materialistic and celebrity-obsessed society, a trap which everyone seems to fall into is how they can keep up with peers.
Be it with cars, clothes, holidays or electronic goods, many people wish to ensure they aren’t left with what’s perceived to be inadequate products.
Remember, other people’s budget may be different than yours. Focus only on what you can afford to avoid overspending.
When it comes to saving money in the new year, a certain degree of self-control and motivation is needed.
Perhaps you want to go on a holiday or purchase a new car so keep this as an incentive to keep holding back.
Even small changes to your spending will reap rewards over time so remember this when doing the weekly shop or looking to buy new clothes.
For more money saving tips and advice visit our homepage: Dumbfunded.co.uk.